The Transformation of Consumer Dispute Resolution in the EU

At some point all of us have complaints against traders and businesses, but are the courts the best place to settle them?
The Transformation of Consumer Dispute Resolution in the EU

The Transformation of Consumer Dispute Resolution in the EU conference

Conference funded by the Nuffield Foundation held in Leicester the 10 and 11 of September 2015

New European rules on consumer redress are coming into effect requiring all European countries to ensure that consumer complaints can be resolved (online and offline) by nationally certified complaints handling bodies –what the law calls Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entities –meaning schemes that are alternative to the court, such as ombudsman, mediation and arbitration bodies. An important novelty of the European law is the obligation that imposes on all businesses to notify consumers with unresolved complaints about these certified and independent bodies, confirming whether or not they are going to participate in their redress processes.

Participants at the conference examined how the new European rules on consumer ADR have been transposed by national legislators and the impact that the new law is having in increasing consumer access to redress. The conference counted with leading experts representing the European Commission, ten EU Member States as well as the US. It was thus an excellent forum to identify best practices in national models so that they can inform the evolving design of the national consumer redress landscapes. The conference has been largely funded as part of a Nuffield grant held by Dr Pablo Cortés on Incentives for Effective Consumer Redress in the EU. The majority of presentations are available and the full papers will appear next year in an edited collection entitled The New Regulatory Framework for Consumer Dispute Resolution (Oxford University Press, 2016).

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